US Government & Industry Disappointed with Recent Ruling on Softwood Lumber Arbitration Case

Washington, D.C. (July 18) – The Office of the United States Trade Representative issued the following statement regarding a decision in the third softwood lumber arbitration dispute brought by the United States against Canada:

c0746a71842ba690a01dee2494126eb5“We are disappointed with the outcome of this latest arbitration under the Softwood Lumber Agreement between the Government of the United States and the Government of Canada (SLA). Despite this result, we remain concerned that British Columbia provided publicly-owned timber harvested in its interior to softwood lumber producers for prices far below market value,” said Nkenge Harmon, Deputy Assistant United States Trade Representative. “And it is important to note that the tribunal did not sanction the pricing practices in British Columbia. Rather, as a result of a flawed approach to evaluating the evidence before it, the tribunal concluded that it was unable to find a conclusive link to action by the Government of Canada. The fair pricing of timber in British Columbia is in the strong interest of the United States and we will continue to monitor this closely.

“The United States has prevailed in two cases under the SLA. We continue to enforce them. The Obama Administration is committed to continue vigorously enforcing the SLA and other U.S. trade agreements. Although we remain disappointed in the result of this proceeding, we will continue to ensure that Canada abides by its obligations under the SLA.”

The U.S. Department of Justice represented the United States in each arbitration.